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Graduate Program Celebrates 2019 Student Awards

Event Date: May 2, 2019
On April 26, 2019, the School of Engineering Education's Graduate Program celebrated 2019 Student Award Recipients at a reception in Wang Hall. Students were recognized for college and school research, teaching, and service awards as well as external honors. Congratulations to all of our graduate students!

Research Awards

Hoda Ehsan

Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship

Hoda Ehsan

In addition to outstanding academic performance, at time of her nomination for the Bilsland she was author or co-author on 5 journal papers published or under review, another 3 in preparation, along with 16 conference papers (even more now?); Strong record of service in ENEGSA and local ASEE chapter; Extensive record of research and outreach in pre-college settings, including her dissertation study on how children with high functioning autism engage in engineering thinking; As Dr. Cardella writes, “Hoda is an outstanding student, researcher, citizen, mentor, and leader who has given a great deal of herself to Purdue and Purdue students.” 

Dina Verdin

College of Engineering Outstanding Research Award

Dina Verdin

Dina’s research focuses on issues related to first-generation college students, using both national survey research as well as deep qualitative inquiry. She has 8 journal publications plus 30 conference proceeding and presentations. Notable service and leadership roles, including senator for the Purdue Graduate Student Government, mentor for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), and impressive record of peer review for many key journals and conferences in our field.


Service Awards

Brianna BenedictCollege of Engineering Outstanding Service Award

Brianna Benedict

Recognized for impressive breadth and depth of service, including in our School (social justice and inclusion chair then president in ENEGSA, extensive mentorship both within and beyond her research group), at the College level (including as previous research and scholarship chair for ASEE student chapter), and in the wider community (for example, volunteer instructor for Young Adult Scholars Program). As Profs. Godwin and Adams wrote, “Brianna takes on leadership wherever she is, including within her school, college, and community. … Brianna has uniquely positioned herself to not only learn from her graduate education but also to shape and change the place she is learning through her leadership and education of others.”

Rohit KandakatlaSchool of Engineering Education Service Award

Rohit Kandakatla

While the College award is mainly focused on service at Purdue, we recognize Rohit for his “global” engagement, which has included previous executive roles in the international SPEED and IFEES organizations. At the national level, he has served chair roles in the ASEE student division. More local to the College, he has served as chair and co-chair of the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and within our own School has repeatedly volunteered as a faculty apprentice (in the CAP and leadership classes). As Prof. Deboer writes, “Service is a core component of Rohit’s career goals, and his service in ENE and to the College of Engineering has made clear contributions to the students and community in our discipline. Thank you Rohit for your service!


Teaching Awards

Nathan HicksCollege of Engineering Magoon Award for Excellence in Teaching

Nathan Hicks

Nominated by Profs. Sanchez-Pena, Aguilar, Douglas, and Secules. He has served in First-Year Engineering GTA roles since Fall 2017. Nathan has received consistently strong teaching evaluation scores, and is committed to continually improving his performance based on feedback from students, peer teachers, and instructors. He is generous with his time, going so far as to offer expanded office hours to help struggling students. As one student wrote in a course evaluation, “Nathan is the most fantastic GTA I've ever come across. He's helpful, caring, understanding and cooperative when it comes to any issues (be it team and personal) addressed to him.” 

Emilie SiverlingSchool of Engineering Education Graduate Student Teaching Award

Emilie Siverling

Nominated by Jill Folkerts, Tamara Moore, and Audeen Fentiman. Three key contributions. First, now in her second semester teaching ENGR131 she has developed a reputation for her attention to detail, commitment to improving assignments and activities to enhance student engagement and learning, and care for her students. Second, Emilie has a long and impressive record of designing and leading professional development workshops to help middle school teachers bring science and engineering into their classrooms. Third, she has provided tremendous support preparing our ENE69500 Succeeding as an Engineering Professor graduate course for online delivery. As her nomination letter summarized, “Together, these experiences demonstrate how Emilie is an effective teacher, curriculum and assessment developer, and designer of effective engineering learning environments. … She … exemplifies the type of scholarship of teaching we should all strive to achieve.”


Purdue Awards

2169 Competition: Artificial Intelligence

Joseph Lyon, Richard Aleong, and Héctor E. Rodríguez-Simmonds

Finalists for the College’s Engineering 2169 Competition for their presentation: “Education in the Year 2169: How Artificial Intelligence Will Fail Us.” 

Office of Interdisciplinary Grad Programs (OIGP) - Outstanding Interdisciplinary Project Award

Julianna Ge

For developing and teaching (multiple times) a novel interdisciplinary course for undergraduate engineering students, ENGR 396: Wellbeing, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering

Student Life Outstanding Program Award

Hossein Ebrahiminejad

In recognition for leadership as chair of PGSG life team. The committee manages a $31,000 budget that is used to lead over 40 social events serving Purdue’s graduate students. 


External Awards

AAC&U K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

Brianna Benedict and Andrew Katz

“Recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning.” This is the first time the award has been given to two students from the same department/program.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Donovan Colquitt and Joseph Lyon (Also: Athena Lin, Fall 2019 cohort)

This has always been a competitive and prestigious honor – even more so this year with fewer awards. Provides outstanding graduate students with three years of support.